Although now predominantly moderate Muslim, Egypt has a large Christian population. So, Egypt is not what people expect when they think of the Middle East. This is a country that has undergone a lot of political and economic changes in recent years as they are attempting to become a part of the international community. They are very welcoming of visitors, and hospitable. Saying hello ("marhabaan") in Arabic will always guarantee a smile.
There will be lots of sightseeing, so comfortable (but modest) clothes and shoes are important (shorts and t-shirts are fine). We will insist that you bring sunscreen and CMI will be giving you a free hat to wear as a very practical souvenir for your trip, and so we can spot you in a crowd! The sun can be very intense on some hot days. On our tours, you will not only be accompanied by CMI staff and our local guides, but also by qualified security staff at all times.
You will be met at Cairo’s international airport and will be taken through immigration where you can pay for your arrival visa (estimated $25 USD per person, and please note it will be best to pay in cash. US, UK and Euros readily accepted). From there you will be transported to the Hilton Pyramids hotel where you will enjoy a welcome dinner and fellowship with other travelers. After dinner, a presentation by Gary Bates will detail what exciting things we have to look forward to over the coming days.
Around Cairo, prepare to be stunned when we visit the enormous pyramids of the 4th dynasty pharaohs on the Giza plateau and also the massive necropolis complex of Saqqara. Northern Egypt was home to the world’s greatest pyramid builders and where the legendary Egyptian priest, Imhotep, left his legacy.
After flying to Luxor (your internal airfares are included), you will be taken to a beautiful hotel that overlooks the Nile as an overnight base. From here we’ll visit the magnificent monuments of the New Kingdom period of Egypt—the richest in all of Egyptian history. It is in this period that many Christians believe the Hebrew Exodus took place. Evening presentations from Gary Bates and others will explore the pharaonic candidates for this important time in biblical history to help you understand the timeline of Egyptian history.
Upon checking out of the hotel you will be escorted to your own private room on a luxury Nile cruise ship. While onboard, we will visit even more sites around Luxor, such as the amazing burial chambers in the Valley of the Kings, including the tomb of the boy-king Tutankhamun. We will also see the temples of Karnak (the world’s largest religious site) and Luxor, the Ramesseum, the Colossi of Memnon, the Temple of Deir El Bahri (Queen Hatshepsut’s mortuary temple), and Medinet Habu, which gives us a glimpse into how these magnificent temples were vibrantly painted in vivid colours.
Our boats have an expansive top deck with sun lounges and a pool so you can watch the ancient world go by. As we cruise down the Nile river for the next few days, it will feel like you have been transported back in time. You will see ancient tombs carved into the river walls and see farmers collecting water in implements known as shadufs, which go back to the ancient Egyptian times.
In both the hotels and onboard the cruise, you will be well-catered to by high quality buffets for all your meals. We recommend trying the local Egyptian food as well. It is similar to Mediterranean style—it is not spicy, but it is delicious. And there is often a story that goes along with the names of many of their dishes! Some pre-dinner presentations will be conducted onboard, as well as some after dinner games and quizzes.
Our final cruise port is Aswan, the home of the former Nubian empire which was incorporated into the greater Egyptian empire at various times in its history. Aswan’s famous red granite quarries supplied the stone for some of Egypt’s grandest monuments, including many obelisks in Luxor, and blocks in the great pyramid of Giza that weighed up to 80 tonnes. A visit to the high dam of Aswan helps us to understand the importance of this modern engineering feat, key to Egypt’s economy.
While in Aswan, we’ll be taking a full-day side-trip to the edge of Lake Nasser to visit one of the most amazing ancient constructions in all of Egypt—the temples of Ramses II at Abu Simbel. The story behind the construction and the way it was aligned to illuminate the interior on two certain dates each year is an astounding story in itself.
After our sojourn down the Nile to Aswan, we will fly back to Cairo to see even more. This includes the the incredible Egyptian museum and the brand-new Museum of Civilization which houses a number of important mummies. The old Egyptian museum building itself is of great historical significance. It was built in 1901 and houses over 120,000 artifacts. Even more are hidden in the basement and various warehouses, hence the need for a new building currently under construction—an indication of just how much Egyptian history there is to see.
“Imagine standing in an underground tomb, carved out of solid rock with nothing more than a few hand chisels. You gaze upon the vibrant pictured walls that display pharaoh’s life story and his proposed journey into the underworld, and they look as if they were painted yesterday. The sarcophagus of an ancient king that was buried over 3,500 years ago sits there now barren and empty. This ancient memorial was already 1,500 years old when our Saviour walked the earth.”
We assure you this really will be the trip of a lifetime—we know, because we’ve seen it, and it has impacted us. Now we want you, our supporters, to see it too.
We hope you enjoy the tour!